The Ontario government – a vocal critic of the proposed $7 billion (£4.3 billion) merger between Toronto and London Stock Exchange, said it will not make the first move to block the deal but would rather wait for Ottawa’s reaction on the benefits of the deal.
The provincial Finance Minister of Ontario – also Canada’s financial capital, Dwight Duncan told the Mail and Globe newspapers that he will wait for the federal government’s assessment on LSE’s bid for TMX.
Mr. Duncan has emerged as one of the most vocal critic of the deal saying London is not a ‘particularly robust’ market. He added that TMX will possibly be better off if it tied up with a US exchange rather than the London Stock Exchange.
Referring to the recently initiated merger between Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext, he was quoted as saying “Maybe we want to tie into the German-New York group” by the newspapers.
Duncan also spoke about his meeting with movers of the LSE-TMX deal; LSE CEO Xavier Rolet and his Canadian counterpart Thomas Kloet.
“Not only are they not a very good story teller … but if they have not thought through the communications of this, have they not thought through the substance of it”?, he said, questioning the rationale behind the merger.
The federal government review, which may take up to 75 days, was the first logical step, said Mr. Duncan.
To complicate matters further, the proposal needs approval from the provinces of Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia.